Home Interviewquestions Xml XML Interviews Question page14,xml Interviews Guide,xml Interviews
Questions:Ask|Latest

Related Tutorials


 
 

Share on Google+Share on Google+

XML Interviews Question page14,xml Interviews Guide,xml Interviews

Advertisement
This page discusses - XML Interviews Question page14,xml Interviews Guide,xml Interviews

XML Interviews Question page14

     

  1. How can I include a conditional statement in my XML?
    You can't: XML isn't a programming language, so you can't say things like
    <google if {DB}="A">bar</google>
    If you need to make an element optional, based on some internal or external criteria, you can do so in a Schema. DTDs have no internal referential mechanism, so it isn't possible to express this kind of conditionality in a DTD at the individual element level.
    It is possible to express presence-or-absence conditionality in a DTD for the whole document, by using parameter entities as switches to include or ignore certain sections of the DTD based on settings either hardwired in the DTD or supplied in the internal subset. Both the TEI and Docbook DTDs use this mechanism to implement modularity.
    Alternatively you can make the element entirely optional in the DTD or Schema, and provide code in your processing software that checks for its presence or absence. This defers the checking until the processing stage: one of the reasons for Schemas is to provide this kind of checking at the time of document creation or editing.
    I have to do an overview of XML for my manager/client/investor/advisor. 
      
  2. What should I mention?
    * XML is not a markup language. XML is a ‘metalanguage’, that is, it's a language that lets you define your own markup languages (see definition).
    * XML is a markup language [two (seemingly) contradictory statements one after another is an attention-getting device that I'm fond of], not a programming language. XML is data: is does not ‘do’ anything, it has things done to it.
    * XML is non-proprietary: your data cannot be held hostage by someone else.
    * XML allows multi-purposing of your data.
    * Well-designed XML applications most often separate ‘content’ from ‘presentation’. You should describe what something is rather what something looks like (the exception being data content which never gets presented to humans).
    Saying ‘the data is in XML’ is a relatively useless statement, similar to saying ‘the book is in a natural language’. To be useful, the former needs to specify ‘we have used XML to define our own markup language’ (and say what it is), similar to specifying ‘the book is in French’.
    A classic example of multipurposing and separation that I often use is a pharmaceutical company. They have a large base of data on a particular drug that they need to publish as:
    * reports to the FDA;
    * drug information for publishers of drug directories/catalogs;
    * ‘prescribe me!’ brochures to send to doctors;
    * little pieces of paper to tuck into the boxes;
    * labels on the bottles;
    * two pages of fine print to follow their ad in Reader's Digest;
    * instructions to the patient that the local pharmacist prints out;
    * etc.
    Without separation of content and presentation, they need to maintain essentially identical information in 20 places. If they miss a place, people die, lawyers get rich, and the drug company gets poor. With XML (or SGML), they maintain one set of carefully validated information, and write 20 programs to extract and format it for each application. The same 20 programs can now be applied to all the hundreds of drugs that they sell.
    In the Web development area, the biggest thing that XML offers is fixing what is wrong with HTML:
    * browsers allow non-compliant HTML to be presented;
    * HTML is restricted to a single set of markup (‘tagset’).
    If you let broken HTML work (be presented), then there is no motivation to fix it. Web pages are therefore tag soup that are useless for further processing. XML specifies that processing must not continue if the XML is non-compliant, so you keep working at it until it complies. This is more work up front, but the result is not a dead-end.
    If you wanted to mark up the names of things: people, places, companies, etc in HTML, you don't have many choices that allow you to distinguish among them. XML allows you to name things as what they are:
    <person>Charles Goldfarb</person> worked
    at <company>IBM</company>
    gives you a flexibility that you don't have with HTML:
    <B>Charles Goldfarb</B> worked at<B>IBM<</B>
    With XML you don't have to shoe-horn your data into markup that restricts your options.
    What is the purpose of XML namespaces?
    XML namespaces are designed to provide universally unique names for elements and attributes. This allows people to do a number of things, such as:
    * Combine fragments from different documents without any naming conflicts. (See example below.)
    * Write reusable code modules that can be invoked for specific elements and attributes. Universally unique names guarantee that such modules are invoked only for the correct elements and attributes.
    * Define elements and attributes that can be reused in other schemas or instance documents without fear of name collisions. For example, you might use XHTML elements in a parts catalog to provide part descriptions. Or you might use the nil attribute defined in XML Schemas to indicate a missing value.
    As an example of how XML namespaces are used to resolve naming conflicts in XML documents that contain element types and attributes from multiple XML languages, consider the following two XML documents:
    <?xml version="1.0" ?>
    <Address>
    <Street>Apple 7</Street>
    <City>Color</City>
    <State>State</State>
    <Country>Country</Country>
    <PostalCode>H98d69</PostalCode>
    </Address>
    and:
    <?xml version="1.0" ?>
    <Server>
    <Name>OurWebServer</Name>
    <Address>888.90.67.8</Address>
    </Server>
    Each document uses a different XML language and each language defines an Address element type. Each of these Address element types is different -- that is, each has a different content model, a different meaning, and is interpreted by an application in a different way. This is not a problem as long as these element types exist only in separate documents. But what if they are combined in the same document, such as a list of departments, their addresses, and their Web servers? 
       
  3. How does an application know which Address element type it is processing?
    One solution is to simply rename one of the Address element types -- for example, we could rename the second element type IPAddress. However, this is not a useful long term solution. One of the hopes of XML is that people will standardize XML languages for various subject areas and write modular code to process those languages. By reusing existing languages and code, people can quickly define new languages and write applications that process them. If we rename the second Address element type to IPAddress, we will break any code that expects the old name. A better answer is to assign each language (including its Address element type) to a different namespace. This allows us to continue using the Address name in each language, but to distinguish between the two different element types. The mechanism by which we do this is XML namespaces. Note that by assigning each Address name to an XML namespace, we actually change the name to a two-part name consisting of the name of the XML namespace plus the name Address. This means that any code that recognizes just the name Address will need to be changed to recognize the new two-part name. However, this only needs to be done once, as the two-part name is universally unique.
Advertisement

If you enjoyed this post then why not add us on Google+? Add us to your Circles



Liked it!  Share this Tutorial


Follow us on Twitter, or add us on Facebook or Google Plus to keep you updated with the recent trends of Java and other open source platforms.

Posted on: April 18, 2011

Related Tutorials

Ask Questions?    Discuss: XML Interviews Question page14,xml Interviews Guide,xml Interviews  

Post your Comment


Your Name (*) :
Your Email :
Subject (*):
Your Comment (*):
  Reload Image
 
 
Comments
DMCA.com